Rotary District 6060 – Outbound RYE Handbook
Exchange Year 2014-15 (Issue 2013)
Long Term Exchanges
Following is the current (Exchange Year 2014-15) issue of the RYE Long Term Student Exchange Program for the Rotary District 6060 Youth Exchange. This is complete on this page, but you may also view / download this information in PDF format in the following link.
The information is updated at least annually and is a guideline. Please contact the Rotary Youth Exchange Committee with questions.
Short Term Exchanges
Short Term Exchanges (between school years) are also possible. These are more specialized family to family exchanges that last about 6 to 8 weeks. Students’ families serve as hosts during the exchange. One student and family is matched with another student and family. Both students spend half of the exchange with each family. Most rules and requirements are similar to the Long Term Exchange.
For more information on the Short Term Exchanges, please contact the District 6060 RYE Committee.
Rotary Youth Exchange – District 6060
Outbound Student Exchanges
Long Term Exchange Program
This note is to confirm that we have received your application for the Rotary Long Term Youth Exchange Program. The District Rotary Youth Exchange (RYE) Committee reviews the student applications and the Committee’s Outbound Coordinator schedules an interview for the student and his or her parents during November and December. The student should come prepared at that interview to inform the Committee of his or her top three countries of choice. We cannot promise the student’s first selection, but will endeavor to place the student in one of his or her top three choices, if accepted into the program. After all of the student interviews are completed, the Committee makes its selections and recommends host Districts in targeted countries based on the students’ expressed preferences.
The student is then contacted confirming the student’s selection and a host country is offered for acceptance. If the suggested placement is agreeable with the student and his or her family, the student’s application is sent to the Rotary Youth Exchange Officer (YEO) for his or her District. The YEO is responsible for identifying a Club in his or her District which will host each student. The hosting Rotary Club must commit to providing the student with a monthly allowance (amounts vary between $50 and $100 per month) and assigning one of its members to act as the student’s Rotary Club Counselor during the coming school year.
The Rotary Club Counselor is charged with the responsibility of obtaining commitments from one to three host families for our student, each agreeing to providing room and board during the hosting period. The Counselor is also responsible for obtaining the commitment from the local school to enroll the student for the coming school year. When the Counselor has obtained the necessary signatures on the Guaranty Form from the Rotary Club’s officers and from the School Principal, the Counselor returns that document to the YEO in our sponsoring Rotary District 6060. With this document in hand, the student can apply for an entry visa at the Embassy of his or her hosting country.
This process can take several months to complete and calls for much patience on the part of our students and their families. All should be aware that our Rotary Youth Exchange Committee in D-6060 has never failed to place one of our outbound students.
Our outbound students may be spending either their Junior or Senior high school years as exchange students. Others may have finished high school and may be “sitting out” a year between high school and college. We encourage all students to continue with their college application process while the youth exchange placement activities are in progress. Students should inform their College Placement Representatives that they are applying for deferred acceptances for the school year following their exchange years. Most colleges and universities are willing to do so and will usually also defer any scholarship awards. Some also offer language credit or advanced placement due to the language immersion.
Each student’s participation in the Rotary Youth Exchange program is conditional upon successful completion of three outbound student orientation meetings. The first orientation session will be held on a Saturday in February. At this session, the students are provided general information about Rotary and Youth Exchange and Rotary’s expectations of our Youth Exchange students. The students will also be given a general outline of a Rotary Club speech and will be asked to prepare an 8 to 10 minute speech for the second orientation session. The second meeting will take place on a Saturday in March. One, or both, of each student’s parents is asked to attend the morning informational session which concentrates on finances, travel considerations, insurance requirements, passport applications, and other technical matters. The students will then give their speeches, which may be accompanied with audio-visuals, including Powerpoint. The final outbound student orientation will take place at our annual Rotary District 6060 Conference in A;ril or May. Outbound students will have the opportunity to interact with inbound students currently hosted in our Rotary District, as well as District 6060 Rotarians.
Please check your calendar now and advise us immediately of any possible conflicts involving travel, family events, or special sporting or artistic performances in which you are a participant. Remember, you are applying for a special opportunity to experience a foreign culture. Therefore, Spring break travel to Florida or Cancun is not considered a reasonable conflict. But, in the interests of avoiding Spring break plans for a majority of students, please let our Outbound Coordinator know the dates of your Spring break by December 31st.
The costs of the Rotary Youth Exchange program are paid by the student and his or her parents. Our outbound students are provided with room and board by their very generous host families. More good news: The hosting Rotary Club provides the student a monthly allowance of approximately $50 to $100. Invariably, however, this allowance will require supplementation by the student’s parents for the student’s personal expenses, although some are better able to “live within their means’ than others.
Air Fare: Approximately $1,500-2,000 round trip to Europe; possibly lower to South America and higher to East Asia;
Tickets must be open ended as to date of return. This is for two reasons: (1) if, for whatever reason, the student must terminate the exchange and return home; or, (2) because the date of return can be uncertain due to the possibility of end-of-exchange trips or tours. This generally means that the tickets cannot be purchased on a discounted basis.
Travel Insurance: $800-900 – single premium;
The primary component is health insurance tailored for foreign travel, but which also includes special features pertaining to special expenses that relate to foreign travel. The student must purchase an approved travel insurance policy If the hosting District requires purchase of a policy through their District, then that is the policy that must be purchased. If the hosting District has no specific policy requiring purchase, then the policy offered through our District’s recommended program must be purchased, even if there is other insurance available. If the host country requires purchase of a local policy, then the student is still encouraged to purchase a less comprehensive policy recommended by our District for the protection of the student and his or her family. We believe the relatively inexpensive cost of the coverage should not be skimped upon when weighed against the risk of inadequate insurance for our students.
Special Expense: Costs of visas, Consular fees, etc., that may vary widely and may run an additional $100-200. Depending on the requirements of the consular office of the host country, obtaining the visa may also entail a weekend trip to Chicago
Program Administrative Expense: There is a $125 fee due to Rotary District 6060 at the time of the second orientation session for the administrative costs associated with the Youth Exchange Program.
Reserve Fund: Each student will be required to take and maintain a reserve fund of typically $400 under the joint control of their Rotary counselor during the exchange to cover the cost of any emergency or unforeseen expenses.
Language Camps: In order to more rapidly improve the language proficiency of the students, some countries are now requiring attendance at a language camp upon arrival with a cost of several hundred dollars.
Year-End Tours: The Rotary Youth Exchange organizations in some hosting countries conduct year-end sight-seeing tours. Participation on such a tour is optional and the tours’ costs can be expensive. Many students do extensive traveling with school tours or with host family trips and do not participate in the expensive year-end tours.
Blue blazer for Rotary Youth Exchange students emblazoned with RYE breast pocket patch (patch supplied by Rotary).
Trading pins: a tradition for Youth Exchange students world-wide.
Cards of Introduction (business cards for students).
Special expense related to the particular country of destination, e. g. weather-related clothing needs, foreign language classes, etc.
The Rotary Youth Exchange program is a very structured program. All of the rules of the program are intended to insure that students experience successful exchanges. Students sometimes look on our rules and structure as arbitrary and unnecessarily restrictive. But we can almost certainly assure students and their parents that students who play by the rules will have outstanding exchanges.
The four most talked about rules are as follows: no drinking, no driving, no drugs, and no serious romantic involvement. Incidents involving any of these rules can result in the early termination of an exchange.
Our Rotary Youth Exchange program is a “high school” program. Students who have already graduated from high school sometimes request to be enrolled in college programs rather than in high school. This is not an option! High school environments are very structured with many rules of behavior. College campuses are exactly the opposite.
Finally, some students ask whether they will get high school credit for their academics during their exchange years. That question should be answered by the schools which our students attend in Missouri. Our experience is that some schools will grant credits while others will not.
Youth Exchange Calendar
January 15-22: Letters issued notifying applicants of acceptance
January-February: District Chairman contacts Youth Exchange Chairmen world-wide, inquiring about placements
February 15: First orientation session
March 08: Second orientation session. $125 administrative payment due
March: By then, we may typically know the general destination of your exchange (the Rotary District), but may not know the particulars, such as host city or first host family
April-May: Begin firming up particulars. Once the Guaranty Form arrives, the travel/health insurance policy must be obtained.
April 25-26: Third orientation session; Rotary District Conference
June: Finalize visas and travel plans
August : Begin your exchange!